As the latest Christie story evolved, The Times should have noted a change

Margaret Sullivan takes a look at a scoop about how Gov. Chris Christie knew about the lane closings at the George Washington Bridge, which Christie has denied, and that David Wildstein “had the evidence to prove” it. Within the hour, the story was changed to soften the wording from “had the evidence” to “evidence exists.” But “this change was more than a nuance. Acknowledging that could have taken the form of a straightforward correction … It would have been the right thing to do. Some sort of notice was due to the reader that the initial story had changed in a substantial way,” writes Sullivan.

  1. Dissecting the Christie lede: How avoiding “suitcase leads” can help reporters and readers sort out the truth
  2. “Now: Even top print newspapers frequently revise stories online, sometimes dozens of times, often w/no change tracking or acknowledgement,” tweets Marc Andreessen (@pmarca)
  3. Craig Silverman spells out a criteria for when a change in an online story should be noted: “Err on the side of correction and it will add value, not hurt, your organization’s reputation.”